Michelada (a.k.a. Bloody Beer)

By • August 30, 2009 25 Comments

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Author Notes: In June, we visited our good friends the Begerts down in Austin, TX...the heat was unreal, with every day of our long weekend a sweltering 105 degrees...the hottest summer on record! We spent as much time as we could indoors or in the local swimming hole...but while outside, the most cooling drink by far were the Micheladas. Less poetically known as a "bloody beer", every bar in town served them: a savoury, refreshing concoction of limey, spicy tomato juice with a cold, fizzy beer poured on top. There are many variations throughout Latin America (and Austin!), but this recipe is a great start. A nice change from the usual sugary-sweet summer cocktails, you can drink these all night long. And best of all, if booze is off-limits, just swap in a non-alc brew and join the party.TheFlyingFoodie

Food52 Review: The recipe that inspired the Beer Cocktail contest theme, this Michelada is great if you're in the mood for something savory and refreshing that won't put you under the table. It's got some of the classic flavors of a Bloody Mary (tomato, citrus, Worcestershire sauce), but because you use beer in place of vodka, the general effect is gentler -- better suited to a lazy afternoon than a pick-me-up brunch. TheFlyingFoodie has you coat the rim of the glass with celery salt (which is also in the drink), an old school touch that we love. - A&M The Editors

Serves 4

  • lime wedges, for garnish
  • celery salt or plain salt, for garnish
  • 1 6oz can tomato juice
  • 2 limes, juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoons Tabasco or preferred hot sauce
  • 2 12oz bottles or cans of beer (Modelo is ideal)
  • several handfuls of ice cubes
  1. Prepare the glasses: rub the rims of four tall glasses with the lime wedges then coat the rims with either celery or plain salt.
  2. In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the tomato juice, lime juice, celery salt, Worcestershire and Tabasco (or desired hot sauce) and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Add a handful of ice to each of the prepared glasses, then divide the tomato juice mixture between them (each should have approximately 4 tbsp/60ml of juice). Top up the glasses with half a bottle of beer each, then garnish with a lime wedge.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Boozy Drinks|Tomatoes

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Comments (25) Questions (0)


about 1 month ago Jesse

The point is, you created a buzz, I make it many different ways, depending on my mood but yes clamato juice works best for me. Why do people really care where it was originally made? Just enjoy it and make it your own way. I use Siracha Hot Sauce and Tecate beer, its very acidic so be careful.


7 months ago Maryhelen

I first had a Chelada man years ago in a bar in Milwaukee, WI. It was simply, beer and lime juice over ice in a salted-rim glass. Years later in Austin, I had a Michelada thinking it was the same thing-- surprise ! It had tomato juice and was much like this one, and I was told it was a "Mexican bloody Mary." Nowadays, everyone orders "chelada', as just a shortened word for Mi--chelada. SAME THING!!!! ADn it is NOT Texas, as every bar in large cities in Mexico serves it.


7 months ago Maryhelen

Oh I forgot-- the Milwaukee Chelada also had Tabasco. And I ordered it because I had always really liked Tecate beer, whihc is taken with lime and salt


about 1 year ago Rich

Replace the tomato juice with Clamato and it will make it a whole lot better


over 1 year ago Lisa

Definitely need to do this one with Clamato Juice!!


over 1 year ago EvaW

This is a Texas thing, not Mexico. This drink is called a Chelada which is made like a Bloody Mary. The Michelada is made like a margarita, served with a salted ring as well.


over 1 year ago Stubor

I use garlic salt to good effect on the rim, and celery salt in the drink.


over 1 year ago mib

no ice. use clamato juice. beer, I like bud light lime. and if you want a buzz, just do a tequila shooter. great


over 2 years ago Rafatz

Micheladas with ice??????. Where in Mexico are the micheladas served with ice????? Canned Modelo beer is Ideal????.


over 2 years ago CuisineXplorers

This recipe is definitely a bloody beer, and a tasty one at that, but absolutely not a michelada. At least not the way they are made in Mexico.


over 1 year ago paddy

the whole point of them is that they are prepared differently everywhere you go. there is no strict way of doing it and no two bars would make them the same


over 3 years ago nhoudek

Great Recipe. The only thing I would change is adding Tajin Chilli-Lime seasoning to the rim instead of salt or celery salt. Oh and leave out the tomato juice.


about 4 years ago gingerroot

I made these for a holiday bbq yesterday and they are fabulous! I'd never had one before and now may prefer them to their big sister Mary. So refreshing, perfect for hot summer afternoons/evenings. Will be making again and again. Thanks for a great recipe.


almost 6 years ago Tamio888

Oh, this was go-o-o-d... As good at the best Michelada I've had in a restaurant. I understand the hub-bub of 'not original' but, good is good... I used a coarse Hawaiian smoked red salt, combined with Portillo's Chicago hot dog salt for the rim, and Cholula for the hot sauce. Then, as I drink it down, a little more beer... a little more juice... Winner!


almost 6 years ago euramirez

try adding less tabasco and instead, add white pepper to substitute. The best micheladas have the simplest recipes: 3 parts beer to 1 1/2 parts tomato juice mixture. The tomato juice mix should be simple: hot tomato juice (if you can get it), mix 3 parts tomato juice with 1 part lime juice, add salt and white pepper to taste. If you cant get hot juice, add tabasco to make it spicy. You can add about 1 tsp worcestershire sauce, but i dont really think it needs it! ENJOY


almost 6 years ago euramirez

DON'T FORGET THE WHITE PEPPER!!!! i swear by this.


almost 6 years ago TheFlyingFoodie

A pretty harsh, and unwarranted, accusation gregp. As the wiki link you've provided states, there are many variations of this popular regional cocktail (just like the bloody mary, margerita etc), but the key to great tasting classics are the right measurements and proportions of the given ingredients. I came up with this particular recipe after much enjoyable experimentation and tweaking this summer and if it works for others as it did for me, that's all I could hope for. Cheers! TFF 


almost 6 years ago gregp

My apologies, I was out of line.


almost 6 years ago flavores

I vote this recipe, it's great...if you have botana souce (tradicional from mexico) would be perfect!...and I prefer without ice!


almost 6 years ago Food52

This is from your friendly editors at Food52.

At food52, we're looking for excellent recipes -- whether they're wildly inventive or great versions of basics that we think everyone would love. We understand that you may not always agree with our picks, and we always like to hear which recipes you would have chosen, but we do a lot of testing before we decide. This cocktail was delicious, plain and simple.


almost 6 years ago pauljoseph

I made it for a family function and they all liked it second time i tryed without Worcestershire sauce I like without Worcestershire


almost 6 years ago Rhonda35

I just watched Michael Chiarello make these on his Food Network show the other week. Hmmm...originality??? Having said that, I am sure these are delicious.


almost 6 years ago Rhonda35

Chiarello very well could have seen your recipe on Food52, although I think it is more likely that he just featured it because, as you said in your recipe intro, it's a popular drink in certain parts of the country. I did not mean to suggest you took his recipe; I just thought it was an interesting thing that people might want to check out - the recipes are different. I apologize if I gave a different impression. Your recipe for Michelada's is fantastic - made some last night - tasty! Do I think it is the most original of all the submissions? No. But I think that is okay because Food52 never states that they are looking for completely NEW food concepts, they just want the best version of a recipe for whatever category they set. And you did just that! So, keep up the good work. And, by the way, congratulations for making it to the top two. I voted for your drink!


almost 6 years ago gregp

Wow, I am shocked this was chosen. Don't get me wrong, this is a great WELL KNOWN beer cocktail, but it had to be one of the least original submissions. The Flying Foodie even says as much in the description, "every bar in town served them". A quick google search of michelada will give you endless hits including a full wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org...). So much for rewarding creativity, not even to mention plagiarism (sorry, using celery salt doesn't cut it for me).


almost 6 years ago Vera

Agreed. Strange choice by A&M, made stranger by their description "The recipe that inspired the Beer Cocktail contest theme, this Michelada is great..." With all the creative and original submissions, this pick is definitely a bit of a surprise.